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HSBC Supports Junior Achievement’s In-Class Volunteer Program to Ensure Kids’ Economic Success

In today’s competitive business environment, juggling priorities and deadlines leaves little time for much else. Unfortunately, when time is limited, one of the first things to get squeezed is volunteerism.

On a personal level, volunteerism is something near and dear to my heart and, thankfully, something shared by my employer , HSBC Auto Finance, which employs 1,100 people locally.

While encouraging volunteerism is a priority for some companies, it isn’t for all.

So why should businesses care about encouraging volunteerism among their employees?

Well, first, volunteerism need not cost a single dollar (but money helps and is appreciated!).

While many companies are running leaner than ever and budgets seem to shrink each year (philanthropic dollars included), volunteerism is about giving time.

Second, studies show that volunteerism can be a terrific morale booster as employees get the satisfaction of helping improve the lives of others.

And volunteerism helps reduce employee turnover. A 1999 study conducted by Cone/Roper shows that 87 percent of employees at companies with volunteer programs feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employer.

Third, skill-based volunteerism can be a great way to improve employees’ professional capabilities. This can include developing public speaking and presentation skills and fostering collaboration among employees.

One such opportunity that HSBC supports is Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties , which offers in-school and hands-on programs to prepare students for future economic achievement and success.

The JA curriculum is taught in kindergarten through 12th grade during a five-week period. All materials are educational, age appropriate and fun.

As a large financial institution, HSBC believes in instilling lessons of free enterprise and fostering personal financial management skills for kids before they become adults.

This is not only good for business, but the right thing to do.

HSBC is so committed to JA, in fact, that it allows employees to volunteer on company time.

On average, we have 100 volunteers each school year involved in teaching the JA curriculum. HSBC also donates $500 for each volunteer per school year.

I encourage businesses that do not have a volunteer program to add one. Whether a business has five or 5,000 employees, it makes a difference in the community.

Developing relationships with local nonprofit should be an essential part of a company’s business plan. You’ll soon find that the time and effort spent is well worth it.


Ron Ferrari is the group director of sales for HSBC Auto Finance, based in San Diego.

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